The Best and the Rest

Time and again technology companies cut their marketing staff and budgets because they don't seem to connect marketing with results. Yet the evidence proves otherwise. Companies that value product management enjoy half the time to market than companies that do not (Source: Softwareminds).

Accenture comments on this mistake in the article "The Best and the Rest": "For many companies, the inertia that can be induced by strong brands and the inherent pricing power they create has lulled management into believing they can repeatedly cut marketing outlays without serious consequences. "Most marketers have some experience with this issue, as entire marketing departments have been starved of investment. No single cut does much damage, but over 10 or 20 years, many companies end up decimating the marketing capabilities that brought them their initial success. "This underinvestment in marketing capabilities creates a vicious circle. Cost cutting eliminates headcount, which forces marketers to do more with less. Time-consuming analysis, as well as planning, research and the investigation of cutting-edge techniques, get the ax. Over time, firms lose their marketing discipline and leading-edge knowledge, which often renders the marketing organization unattractive to top prospective talent. "There seems to be no shortage of companies with average marketing capabilities, but few of them are high performers in their industries."

Marketing professionals have done a poor job of marketing their value internally. As the new year approaches, identify specific areas where you can improve the visibility of product management and marketing for your senior executives--and start gathering evidence that will communicate the strategic value of product management.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.

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